Featured News

Market factors to watch

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

The USDA only increased corn acres by 500,000 from the March survey. This is not real bearish news because the market has been pushing new crop corn values to levels encouraging a lot more corn acres be switched over from beans this spring. Evidently, wet weather in North Dakota and Ohio this spring prevented a lot more acres being switched to corn.


This week I drove through southern Minnesota on I-35 to Des Moines and west along I-80 to Lincoln. Iowa’s corn is at least one week behind normal, which should push pollination dates back until after July 20. This means even after the long 3-day weekend, the 2-week weather forecasts will not yet reach the critical growing time period.

Current longer-term forecasts suggest weather should be close to normal though. If this happens, the current 177 yield projected by the USDA could be achieved.… Continue reading

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The online only advantage

By Matt Reese

Online only auctions can offer some advantages.

Jeff Lentz

“The online auction has really exploded and online only has also really exploded. Nothing against a live auction, but if you’re a farmer and you’re going to have a liquidation sale, a live auction does come with a cost. You’re going to need to be prepared to have 300 to 500 people on your farm and 200 to 300 pickup trucks parking in your field. On a great day, with beautiful weather, it’s great. On a bad day, it can be stressful,” said Jeff Lentz, owner of Buckeye Online Equipment Auctions, LLC. “And sellers do not have to haul their equipment to an equipment yard. It saves them time. For a buyer, it’s the same thing with time-savings. They don’t have to stand at an auction all day long. They don’t have to travel three states away. A lot of the buyers are in their tractor or in their combine bidding on equipment while they’re working, so I think it’s a win-win for everybody.”… Continue reading

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USDA backing biobased products

In late June, USDA announced available funding for the Bioproduct Pilot Program, which was established through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that was signed into law last November. The pilot program, which was a priority of the American Soybean Association (ASA) during drafting of the legislation, will provide $10 million over two years to study the benefits of biobased products for construction materials and consumer products.

“The Bioproduct Pilot Program will provide a great opportunity to expand upon what we in the soy family have been doing for years—creating plant-based, sustainable construction materials and consumer goods using U.S.-grown soy,” said Dave Walton, who grows soybeans in Iowa and is an ASA director and chair of the association’s Biofuels and Infrastructure Committee. “ASA was glad to work with Senator Rounds and others to support the inclusion of this language in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and we welcome this announcement from USDA.”

The Bioproduct Pilot Program is administered through the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. … Continue reading

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Is 19-19-19 the perfect forage fertilizer?

By Greg LaBarge, CCA, Ohio State University Extension agronomist

Balanced fertilizers with equal percentages of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium like 19-19-19 and 12-12-12 can be useful but should never be the long-term, sole fertilizer source applied to a forage field. Why? You can find the answer by comparing crop nutrient removal to nutrient application. 

First, let’s estimate crop removal. A cool-season grass hay mix yielding 3 tons per acre will remove 36 pounds of P2O5and 144 pounds of K2O. The removal values come from Nutrient Removal for Field Crops fact sheet (ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/anr-96). The reference also lists other forage crops.

Now let’s determine the nutrient amount applied. If we use 200 pounds of 19-19-19, the nutrient available is 38 pounds each of N, P2O5, and K2O. 

With the removal and applied nutrient determined, let’s look at the nutrient balance provided by 200 pounds of 19-19-19.… Continue reading

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Golf outing raises big money

The 2022 Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation Golf Invitational raised a record-breaking $100,000 for foundation scholarships, grants and programs that help enhance agricultural communities and support careers in agriculture.

“Raising a record breaking $100,000 will allow the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation to continue our focus to inspire and educate the next generation of agricultural professionals through scholarships, innovative programming and grants. We had a great day connecting with new and loyal supporters while creating awareness around careers in agriculture.” Tara Durbin, Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation Board President and Senior Vice President of Agricultural Lending Farm Credit Mid-America.

The event was held June 27 at The Country Club at Muirfield Village and hosted 186 golfers. The Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation offers a special thank you to the event sponsors, especially Nationwide, who served as the title sponsor for the event.  This successful day would not have been possible without the generous support of sponsors and participants. … Continue reading

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Food banks face a “long, hot summer of need”

By Matt Reese

Those who know can hear the difference.

The sound of open space echoing around the vast storage facility of the Mid-Ohio Food Collective in Grove City is a growing concern. Heading into the high-demand summer season, supplies were at 25% capacity. 

At a time when food is needed most, it is in increasingly shorter supply at food banks around Ohio, said Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, executive director of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks. 

“Food scarcity and hunger rates are now elevated above the height of the pandemic, which is hard to believe, but there are many reasons for that. We’re seeing our job market recover, but wages continue to be stagnant in the lower sectors — like the service sector — of the economy,” Hamler-Fugitt said. “We are seeing shortages that are exacerbated by the supply chain issues. This is not just in the grocery store — it is all of the inputs that need to go into food production of everything from livestock to additives or the packaging.… Continue reading

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Operating grain dryers

By Aaron Bickle, CEO, Bickle Farm Solutions

Grain dryers are an essential piece of equipment on many farms—one that ensures any grains you have harvested are ready for distribution and do not spoil. In fact, high levels of moisture in your corn, soybeans or other crops can significantly impact its life expectancy and overall value.

And while grain dryers can help you generate healthy and profitable yields, they carry a substantial level of risk, particularly as it relates to fires. Data suggests that the number of grain dryer fires have been increasing annually and are often caused by:

• A lack of operator training

• Minimal oversight or monitoring during grain dryer operation

• Poor cleaning and maintenance practices

• Running grain dryers at excessively high temperatures 

• Restarting hot or warm grain dryers without a complete inspection.

These fires not only have the potential to destroy grain and equipment, but they can also lead to considerable downtime, workplace safety issues and lost revenue.… Continue reading

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Ohio Corn & Wheat hires Eick

Ohio Corn & Wheat (OCW) is pleased to announce its new Director of Marketing and Communications, Marlene Eick.   

In this role, Eick will be responsible for leading the development and execution of annual communications and marketing plans and initiatives for Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association, the Ohio Corn Checkoff and the Ohio Small Grains Checkoff. She will serve as an industry spokesperson and media liaison throughout Ohio and the U.S. Eick will also be responsible for the organization’s relationships with its members and national organizations such as National Corn Growers Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, U.S. Grains Council, U.S. Wheat Associates, U.S. Meat Export Federation and more. 

Eick brings diverse integrated communications experience with a background in education, multimedia communication, and most recently, leadership and professional development training for local, state and national organizations in agriculture. She comes from a leadership consultant role in the business she founded and owns, Live Your Story LLC.… Continue reading

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OSU cover crop research

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) awarded $150,000 through the Ohio Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program to Osler Ortez, an assistant professor for Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. With this funding, Ortez will test the effectiveness of Beauveria bassiana, a soil-borne fungus, in enhancing cover crop establishment and growth.
“The Conservation Innovation Grants program strives to support cutting-edge solutions for production and conservation in Ohio,” said John Wilson, NRCS Ohio State Conservationist. “Dr. Ortez’s project will help producers get more benefits out of crop system rotations — building soil organic matter, retaining nutrients and soil moisture, and ultimately improving cash crop yields.”
Beauveria bassiana is traditionally used for its ability to control a wide variety of insect species. It has also been found to serve as a growth enhancement in several crop species. The project will strive to apply those benefits to cover crop seeds to enhance cover crop establishment success in corn-soybean systems in Ohio.… Continue reading

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Wheat harvest ahead of last year, average

Continued hot and dry weather raised concerns among some farmers about deteriorating crop conditions, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 17 percent very short, 49 percent short, 33 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending July 3 was 72.1 degrees, 0.7 degrees above normal. Weather stations recorded an average of 0.41 inches of precipitation, 0.76 inches below average. There were 6.6 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending on July 3.

Reporters across the State indicated that corn and soybean crops are displaying signs of stress, a consequence of continued below-average precipitation. Corn and soybean conditions declined slightly from the previous week. Livestock were in good condition. Corn had yet to advance to the silking stage. Soybeans were 95 percent emerged and 5 percent of plants were blooming. Oats were 82 percent headed.… Continue reading

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Maximize remaining yield potential in 2022

By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, Product Manager, Seed Consultants, Inc.

The 2022 growing season has already provided growers with several challenges. Learning from these challenges and making sound management decisions throughout the remainder of the growing season will be critical to achieving top-end yield potential. 

Adverse weather conditions have significantly impacted planting date, emergence, and early crop development. While early planting favors high yields, it does not guarantee them. Even with delayed planting growers can still achieve high yields depending on several other factors. The key to achieving top-end yield potential will be sound management decisions moving forward.

Not only have adverse spring field conditions impacted planning and early crop development, but some issues that exist as a result of the wet weather will linger throughout the season. Seedlings have struggled to get established in crusted soils, saturated soils, and flooded areas of fields. Compaction, root restrictions, and damage to plants will hinder crop development throughout the growing season.… Continue reading

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4-H Clover’s CODE: Creating Opportunities Designed for Everyone

By Sally A. McClaskey, Ohio 4-H Youth Development

For 4-H members, summer is all about camping, project work and county fairs, but for many 4-H’ers, this summer will also include the opportunity to explore coding, computers and creativity.

Clovers CODE (Creating Opportunities Designed for Everyone) began in 2019 as part of the Apple Community Education Initiative and the effort to introduce youth to problem-solving, computer literacy and coding through hands-on activities.

This summer, 4-H professionals offering Clovers CODE programs will be at overnight camps, day camp programs, pop-up events, and county fairs. According to Mark Light, 4-H STEM specialist, technology-related 4-H programs are growing in popularity. “STEM-based projects are the second largest project area in Ohio. Kids use technology every day, not just during the school year. Our goal is to help them continue that creative process through the summer.”

Youth at the William H. Adams Community Center in Columbus started with Clovers CODE in January.… Continue reading

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Nominations open for 2023 Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year

Farmers are invited to submit nominations for the 2023 Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year contest, supported by Purina. This is the fifth year of the contest, which celebrates farm dogs and the many ways they support farmers and ranchers in producing nutritious food for families and their pets across America.

The contest opened in January and the nomination deadline has been extended to July 15. The grand prize winner – Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year – will win a year’s worth of Purina dog food and $5,000 in prize money. The winner will be recognized at a Farm Dog of the Year award ceremony at the American Farm Bureau Federation Convention in January 2023. Up to four regional runners-up* will each win $1,000 in prize money. 

The 2023 Farm Dog of the Year will also be featured in a professionally produced video. The profile of 2022 Farm Dog of the Year Fit can be viewed at https://www.fb.org/land/fdotyContinue reading

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Forage options for planting after wheat

By Mark SulcBill Weiss, Ohio State University Extension

Some producers may be considering planting a supplemental forage crop after winter wheat grain harvest for various reasons. Some areas of the state are becoming very dry. In many areas, the wet weather this spring resulted in ample forage supply, but good to high-quality forage is in short supply because of the wet weather that delayed harvesting until the crop was mature, or it resulted in rained-on hay that lowered quality.

The forage grass options all require adequate nitrogen to maximize yield potential, either as fertilizer or manure (about 60 lbs of actual available nitrogen per acre).  Check any potential herbicide restrictions from the previously planted crop and consider herbicides used after wheat and before planting these annual forages. 

Chopping and ensiling or wet wrapping are the best mechanical harvest alternatives for most of the options listed. Wilting is usually necessary.… Continue reading

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Farm Bureau backs Ohio Supreme Court justices

On June 30, Ohio Farm Bureau was part of a group of Ohio’s largest business organizations that visited Miller Family Farm to announce their endorsement of Sharon Kennedy for chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court and Pat DeWine and Pat Fischer for re-election to the Ohio Supreme Court.

During the event, Ohio’s business community, including Ohio Farm Bureau, NFIB, Ohio Business Roundtable, Ohio Chamber of Commerce and Ohio Manufacturers’ Association stressed how it relies on a predictable and consistent Supreme Court, as it allows companies, both small and large, to plan and grow for the future. According to the groups, Justices Kennedy, DeWine, and Fischer are the candidates the business community believes Ohio needs to protect the Supreme Court from judicial activism that leads to unpredictability, and if any one of these candidates is not protected, Ohio will be in grave danger of damaging its national economic competitiveness.

“In a time of so much uncertainty in our agricultural markets, our supply chains and food channels, Ohio’s agriculture community needs a consistent Ohio Supreme Court,” said Adam Sharp, Ohio Farm Bureau Executive Vice President.… Continue reading

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GrowNextGen Tour highlights

By Matt Reese

Courtesy of the Ohio Soybean Council, the Ohio Ag Net and Ohio’s Country Journal will be helping showcase agriculture to students around the state through the 2022 GrowNextGen Tour.

GrowNextGen was launched in 2014 with funding from the soybean checkoff through the Ohio Soybean Council and Ohio soybean farmers. The program provides teachers with free, high quality STEM units and lessons that bring agriculture principles and practices into the science classroom. With a primary focus on biology, chemistry, food science and environmental science standards, GrowNextGen includes e-learning courses and a network of educators and industry leaders to answer questions and provide resources to support the lessons. The goal of the program is to increase student interest in careers related to food productionCareer videos and discussion guides describing career pathways allow teachers to give students a look into multiple careers they might not have considered.

Ronda Uresti-Forman and Kathleen Moore are pipetting their soy biodiesel they created to fuel their pop-pop boats at the July 28 GrowNextGen workshop and tour stop at Global Impact STEM Academy.
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Alfalfa fertility needs

By Brooks Warner, Ohio State University Extension Ag and Natural Resources Educator, Scioto County

Alfalfa is known as the queen of forages for its ability to produce incredible amounts of high-protein forage in an array of different environments. Proper management of alfalfa stands can help producers maintain the highest quality and yielding alfalfa for their livestock enterprises. In Ohio, alfalfa thrives in our growing conditions and producers can potentially harvest five times in a growing season. For maximum yield and a healthy alfalfa stand, proper soil fertility is crucial. Soil tests are crucial in understanding which nutrients we are deficient in, and with the price of fertilizer and high-quality alfalfa, it is important to know if we are applying too much or not enough fertilizer.

Soil pH

Highest yielding alfalfa is grown in soil with a pH of 6.7 (Mclean and Brown, 1984). In southeastern Ohio we tend to have low pH soil, so applications of lime are regularly needed.… Continue reading

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Algal bloom prediction low again for Lake Erie

The 2022 algal bloom is expected to have a low severity index of 3.5, according to the final forecast from the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration. This forecast uses an ensemble of different models, which consider phosphorus loading into the lake during the spring and early summer.
If realized, this will be the fourth year out of the past seven that the algal bloom will be rated less than 4 on a scale of 1 (mild) to 10 (severe).

Recent soil test data from The Fertilizer Institute found that the number of soil samples tested for Ohio increased from about 69,000 in 2001 to nearly 274,000 in 2020. Over the same period, the median soil test phosphorus levels dropped from 38 to 26 parts per million (Mehlich 3).

With the expansion of the H2Ohio water quality initiative and the growth of the Ohio Agriculture Conservation Initiative certification program, both designed to help farmers find more and better nutrient management practices, efforts will continue to advance across Ohio, according to Jordan Hoewischer, director of water quality and research with Ohio Farm Bureau.… Continue reading

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Bullish soybeans

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Soybean acres were 2.1 million acres below trade estimates.

Just after the noon report release, corn was down 10 cents, soybeans up 12-15 cents, and wheat  down 4 cents. Prior to the reports, corn was down 15-17 cents, soybeans down 13-20 cents, and wheat down 8 cents. Non-threatening Midwest weather along with disappointing weekly U.S. grain sales contributed to the price weakness for grains prior to the noon report release.

The USDA report day for today consists of two reports, 2022 US acres and June 1 U.S. grain stocks. This report day has been volatile in recent years. USDA will not publish supply and demand tables today. The next S/D report or WASDE, will be July 12. 

U.S. acres: corn 89.9 million acres, soybeans 88.3 million acres, and wheat 47.1 million acres. 

U.S. grain stocks as of June 1: corn 4.35 billion bushels, soybeans 971 million bushels, and wheat 660 million bushels.… Continue reading

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